North America

New Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave Launches Website, Issues First Round of Guidance

The brand-new Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) has launched its webpage and issued the first set of guidance for both employers and employees. The DFML was created to help facilitate the implementation of Massachusetts’ new Paid Family and Medical Leave programs (“PFML”). The deadline for employers to start making contributions toward the PFML programs is July 1, 2019, and employees may begin receiving benefits beginning on January 1, 2021.

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Commercial Bankruptcy in the United States – Potential Impact on Litigation & Transactional Practices

Commercial bankruptcy in the United States is a tool to conduct and continue big business.  Because its effects reach into other practice areas, there are opportunities for non-bankruptcy members to provide value to their clients by calling on the expertise of ILN commercial bankruptcy practitioners.

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Do Makers of Children’s Connected Toys Need a Time-Out to Comply with COPPA?

Ask a parent about their biggest concern when it comes to having their young children log too much screen time on tablets or smart phones, and you’re likely to hear answers ranging from poor academic performance to simply not getting outside more to blow off steam.

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Davis Malm Adds Kevin J. Milton to its Business Law and Banking and Credit Practices

The Boston law firm of Davis, Malm & D’Agostine, P.C. announces that Kevin J. Milton has joined the firm as an associate in the Business Law and Banking and Credit areas. Mr. Milton assists with general corporate law and finance matters, including corporate formation, commercial transactions, private equity, and corporate governance. Prior to joining Davis Malm, Mr. Milton held internship positions at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of the General Counsel; United States Attorney’s Office, Criminal Division; Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office; and several private practice firms in Boston.

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Ontario Court of Appeal Declines to Clarify When Judges Can Impose Fines Below Statutory Minimum

In a decision released on December 7, 2018, the Ontario Court of Appeal missed an opportunity to provide lower courts with guidance  regarding the circumstances in which they could depart from imposing statutory minimum fines required by provincial regulatory statutes.  Section 59(2) of the Provincial Offences Act (“POA”)  gives the court discretion to impose something less than the minimum where “exceptional circumstances” make it “unduly oppressive” or “not in the interests of justice” to do so.   However, the Court of Appeal ruled that the provincial offence regime is better served by leaving the requirements for departure from minimum fines and sentences intentionally vague.  In fact, the Court may have even muddied the waters by appearing to say that “exceptional” means “unusual” and then failing to define the term unusual.

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Act Now Advisory: New York Wage Deduction Rules

On December 7, 2018, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law an amendment to New York Labor Law (“NYLL”) Section 193 (“NY Wage Deduction Law”) extending the NY Wage Deduction Law, which had expired on November 6, 2018, until November 6, 2020.

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RSS succeeds in having a $55-million liability claim dismissed before the Supreme Court

A corporation of which you are a shareholder claims to have sustained important damages which, in your view, were caused by the fault of professionals. These damages and losses caused the corporation’s bankruptcy. Can you, as shareholder, sue the professionals to claim compensation for the corporation’s damages?

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Howard & Howard Expands Metro Detroit Office

Royal Oak, Michigan, December 11, 2018:  Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that Richard J. Cantor has joined the firm. He will practice out of the firm’s Royal Oak office.

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FDA to Overhaul Medical Device Approval Process

On November 26, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) announced the process for clearing most medical devices for marketing is being updated to incorporate changes the FDA laid out in an April draft guidance. For over forty years, most medical devices have entered the United States market through the 510(k) clearance process. The 510(k) process offers an expedited approval process available only for products that are substantially equivalent to products already on the market (known as predicate devices). The FDA is considering no longer allowing sponsors to rely on predicates older than ten years and making public information about cleared devices that relied on predicates more than ten years old. In addition, the FDA intends to finalize guidance establishing an alternative 510(k) pathway with different criteria that reflect current technological principles.

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Sweeping victory for RSS before the Supreme Court

December 7, 2018 — This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Brunette v. Legault Joly Thiffault, s.e.n.c.r.l., 2018 SCC 55, a professional liability case with stakes of $55 million. It dismissed the claim at the preliminary stage, restating two legal principles:

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